Travelling and staying. downtown in a big city like Toronto is always interesting. You feel you are in middle of the action and you are, but sometimes it's not the action you desire. Our first day on this trip there was a gang war/rapper type gun fire and murder 2 blocks from where we were walking around.
On the last day of this trip a fire broke out in an old building a football field away from our hotel. Smoke filled the streets, our room, our clothes, and interrupted our sleep. Fortunately, they had the fire out in a couple of hours.
It makes you think and it makes you realize that while you are enjoying the sites of these big urban areas you need to be aware of what's going on around you - call it spidey-sense, self-awareness, caution - whatever - things could go wrong...fast. As well fire engines, police, ambulance sirens and a cacophony of street noises remind you to travel with ear plugs - or headphones - or whatever gets you through the night - you need to sleep well whether it's Madrid or Montreal. While the fire was going on we noticed the apathetic approach of the many millenials and X'ers that seem to inhabit the area. Not even thick smoke was going to interrupt their Friday night. We loved their energy and disliked their smugness and disinterest, all at the same time...I mean, "cast a cold eye on life, on death" but c'mon?
Award winning Come From Away tells the heartwarming story of the plight of the many planes and passengers from all over the world who had to land in Gander, Newfoundland following the events of 911 and the way the Canadians took them under their wing, so to speak. They cared for the over 7,000 people who landed unannounced into their lives throwing the community into a caring chaos. Poignant and funny you moved from laughter to tears many times. It was a musical with heart. This play cast a warm, sympathetic eye on life and death that came from tragedy.
One of the things a big city has is festivals - all kinds, all days. This Local Art festival consisted of probably 300 open tents with artists showing their paintings, scultpture, and creations along with the all the truck food you could eat. Art is subjective but Tom loved Zarawesky's work. So many talented people in the world on a hot and muggy day.
We have seen the Once many times and have always like them. Considering the play we had just seen it seemed fitting a Newfoundland group was singing in Toronto. Their one hour concert outside Roy Thomson Hall (a home of classical music) displayed their acoustic chops, tight harmonies and warm personalities. We had to take off to see the Blue Jays beat the Yankees and joked that they had to do it for Once.
The St Lawrence Market, like the ones we enjoyed in Europe, features fresh food, live music and bustles with activity no matter what the weather is like outside. Great place to have a coffee and feel organic.
We noticed a new art installation on King Street, and all ages were having fun playing with this one that you approached from both sides now - sorry just came out. Lots of laughs and kids, especially, though this was a cool diversion from shopping.
The Yin and Yang of the Big City. Yes, the problems but also the artistic solutions and the youthful energy. We enjoyed our eastern swing. Ready to get back to Saskatoon for a bit, though.
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